One of the tricks of sanity that I learned along the way was the magic of gratitude. When you are facing your darkest days, nothing serves as a better lifesaver than taking a moment and making a list of five things for which you are grateful. This exercise forces you to find some glimmer of silver lining in the darkest clouds. And somehow, afterwards, you feel better. Life isn't as bad as you'd imagined, there is within this list the substance of something to hold onto, that edge of light on the horizon that lets you know that this is survivable, that you will carry on to fight another day.
Today, I am grateful for rain. Outside my window we are experiencing the most wonderful Florida thunderstorm.
Earlier this evening I was leaving the grocery store and found that the sunny day that I'd left when I went into the store had become a sudden torrential downpour. My umbrella was of course in the Hummer. Which of course was parked half way down a long row in the parking lot. Instead of cursing the rain, which would certainly soak me before I made it to the car, I made a choice. I took off my sandals and stuffed them in my very large handbag, grabbed my grocery bags, left the shopping cart, and walked swiftly to the truck.
When I got myself and my bags safely into the truck I actually laughed and sat for a moment enjoying the downpour. Sure I still had to make it home, and then into the house, which would mean another dash through the rain, but that's okay, I was safe and sound and the road home was relatively quiet.
My gratitude, my relative happiness is twofold:
First, we have been in desperate need of rain. The lawns on my street have varied in shades of brown to gold, to green...and the heat and humidity has been so unrelenting as to make a simple walk outside at noon nearly impossible.
Second, Florida thunderstorms are wonderfully dramatic. We get big cloud fronts that darken the entire sky and turn day to night. The lightening fills those clouds with white strobelights and the accompanying thunder is like a basso profundo.
Now I am tucked inside, sitting in front of my computer writing this as the symphony continues outside. I am grateful that our lawns and plants are finally getting the nourishment they so desperately needed.
If all goes well, tomorrow I will be sitting poolside in my new seersucker bikini, with Anita Shreeve's Body Surfing, and a glass of iced tea, while I work on tanning my tummy. Did I mention the best thing about Florida thunderstorms? They usually come only in the late afternoon, which gives me all day to work on my tan.
See, gratitude really is magic!